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Posts Tagged ‘hipaa’

Ask Erik: Is misaddressed email a HIPAA breach?

Friday, December 8th, 2017

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Understanding Blockchains – Part 4: Exploiting blockchain-based solutions

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

We conclude our four-part series (see the earlier posts here, here, and here) with a survey of how blockchains are (or could be) used in different industries, but especially in the medical and healthcare sectors.

In the previous posts, we provided a step-by-step introduction to blockchains – showing how a fully distributed ledger can be maintained in a consistent state by a large group of unaffiliated peers, mutually distrustful and potentially malicious, and who may not always be responsive. Distributed ledger (or database) technology is not new, but the blockchain as used by Bitcoin offered the first practical solution to solve most of the problems that thwarted researchers in the past.  It solved the problem of scale (the number of nodes that have to maintain the ledger), the problem of trust (between pseudonymous peers), the problem of mutability (preventing retrospective changes to the ledger), the problem of centralization (where an attack on a central database can lead to massive data loss or denial of service), and several others. Bitcoin’s successor, Ethereum, as described in our previous post, added a whole new twist to the simple ledger as a repository of immutable records. Records can now contain code which can run business rules incorruptibly and effect changes in the system.

Blockchain is not just for cryptocurrency

That the success of Bitcoin and Ethereum as a showcase of blockchain technology should have captured the attention of other industries is no surprise. After all, some of the operational issues that such diverse industries as banking, transportation, education and pharmaceuticals face appear to be partly mitigated by a blockchain-based solution. For instance, many of these industries suffer from poor or inaccurate record keeping, which adds to costs, inconvenience and fraud. A blockchain-based solution appears, at least superficially, to address some of these inefficiencies. For example, education records can be maintained permanently on a blockchain (rather than in easily lost or alterable paper records); a drug shipment can be tagged on the blockchain during each stage of its manufacture through transportation between various intermediaries to the ultimate retailer, preventing counterfeiting.

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HIPAA-compliance Seals Build Trust

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

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Trust Seals & Their Impact on Sales: Things You Should Know

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

With visually appealing trust seals on your website, you can expect to get more leads and improve sales.

Have you ever noticed a logo on an e-commerce site that is screaming to tell that their payment system will not compromise your credit card information? Well, this is an example of a variety of trust-building tools called trust seals. The trust seals appear in a site in various forms such as a logo, icon or badge. They may be placed in the header, near a form, and in the footer or navigation menu.

Trust seals increase sales

Some common examples of trust seals are Luxsci’s HIPAA certification seal, Better Business Bureau (BBB), McAfee, TrustedShops, SiteLock, GeoTrust, Thawte, Comodo, PayPal, Visa, Google, Verisign, TRUSTe seals and Shopify.

A graduation certificate from MIT or Oxford will most probably land you up on a high-paying job. Right? (But then after, your performance will decide how long the employer will retain you.) This is similar to what trust seals do to your business.

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How to Enhance EHR Security for Small Businesses

Monday, October 30th, 2017

Using a few added security services, small and medium businesses can run affordable EHR systems without worry. Find your options. 

Whether your practice uses a thousand-dollar EHR (Electronic Health Record) or free software, security should be your primary concern. Small and medium businesses (SMBs) are not financially equipped to pay a large sum for expensive EHR systems. Moreover, the software from large vendors may not exactly meet the requirements of SMBs. For these reasons, SMBs often rely on less expensive options.

This is arguably a smart move from an economic point of view. But what about security of health information in electronic health records? Do these systems fully comply with regulatory requirements including HIPAA? Is there a way to enhance the security of EHR using other means?

EHR Security for Small Business

No doubt, the government requires every EHR vendor to follow basic security measures like encryption (during storage) and access control. However, these might not be enough to prevent a sophisticated attack. Moreover, a number of processes during the use of an EHR can still be open to an attack. For example, texting, videoconferencing (video telehealth), sending or receiving email etc.

As per HIPAA, EHR vendors become business associates only when they have access to the health information. Simply put, if they host your data, they have to comply with all the requirements just like the covered entities. However, those vendors who merely sell software do not need to sign a business associate agreement (BAA).

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WordPress & HIPAA – can these coexist?

Monday, October 23rd, 2017
For a deep dive, see our white paper: Securing WordPress

As we discussed in an earlier post, WordPress, despite its vulnerabilities, is the world’s most popular content management system for both blogging and creating web sites.  It is popular because it is quick to set up, easy to administer, with a very large choice of plugins for add-on functionality, and themes for making the sites look good.  As a result, many LuxSci customers use WordPress in one fashion or another for their web sites hosted at LuxSci.

As LuxSci caters to a large segment of customers who have specific compliance needs, specifically HIPAA compliance, we are frequently asked about using WordPress in a medical provider setting. Given the information about WordPress vulnerabilities, the question usually asked is whether a site created using WordPress can secure access to electronic protected health information (ePHI) in a way that meets the requirements of the HIPAA-HITECH regulations.

WordPress for HIPAA-compliant sites?

Such questions are reasonable because although WordPress has many great features that make it quick and easy to get a web site running, it is still a third-party tool which is not specifically designed to conform to HIPAA standards. When using any third-party software, you should be aware of the associated risks that are out of your control. Vulnerabilities in WordPress can disrupt your site’s availability, perhaps even lead to a breach of protected and private information. Even if it is the WordPress software that’s at fault, the responsibility for any security lapses still falls on the site owner.

However, it is not all doom and gloom. The short answer to the question posed in the title of this post is “yes”. It is possible with care to build a site with WordPress (including plugins and themes) that is secured in a way that meets the requirements of the HIPAA security rules. The remainder of this post will discuss how this might be achieved.

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Encrypted Messaging App: A Comparison of the Top 7 Apps

Friday, October 20th, 2017

An encrypted messaging app ensures that real-time communication is secure. Compare the security features of top apps and know your alternatives.

The need for encrypted messaging apps continues to climb, especially after the shocking revelations by Edward Snowden. Instant messaging (IM) offers a more convenient and more real-time mode of communication compared to email. Moreover, IM is better than SMS (regular texting) when it comes to security.

Encrypted Messaging Apps: How Secure Are They?

However, not all the messaging apps are created equal. In fact, the level of security varies significantly among the available apps. You ned to be able to differentiate a great encrypted messaging app from a merely good one. If you are looking for an encrypted messaging app for health information exchange, HIPAA-compliance should be your first priority.

This article compares the features, particularly the degree of security, among the top encrypted messaging apps. Also, you will learn what other options are available.

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Demo of LuxSci SecureText

Monday, October 16th, 2017

 

See how LuxSci SecureText works from the sender and recipient perspectives.

Free Trial

Health Information Technology, HIPAA, and Need for Risk Analysis

Monday, October 9th, 2017

How does HIPAA law apply to health information technology? Know the role of risk analysis to maintain privacy and security of electronic health information.

The term “health information technology” (health IT) is a broad concept that encompasses an array of technologies to store, share, and analyze health information. With an increasing number of providers plunging into the vast pool of HIT, it becomes imperative that you have a clear vision of the association between HIT and HIPAA, along with the need to perform risk analyses.

Health Information Technology Involves Risk

Related: A Complete Guide To HIPAA Law: How It Keeps Your Privacy Protected

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5 Security Measures for Safe Patient Portals

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Many patients are apparently wary of embracing patient portals due to security concerns. Learn how you can reassure them about the safety.

No doubt, patient portals are highly effective in increasing patient engagement and optimizing treatment outcomes. But many patients tend to be reluctant in adopting this “new” tool as they are concerned about the security and privacy issues.

Security Measures for Patient Portals

The safety concerns make a lot of sense considering how hackers are increasingly attacking health data. If your practice uses patient portals, it’s your responsibility to convince the patients that their sensitive information is in safe hands. How will you do that?

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